9:00am Saturday 31st May 2014
THERE was much excitement when it seemed greyhound racing was returning to Oxford.
Plans to bulldoze Oxford Stadium and replace it with housing were shelved and the place was put up for lease with a specific clause for leisure activities, which was met with encouragement.
But it is clear it was too early to get carried away and now the future of the stadium again hangs in the balance.
If the lease is as undesirable as Nick Budimir believes, then the city could again be left with an empty leisure venue.
Of course we do not know the finer details, nor what discussions are taking place behind closed doors.
But a stadium full of punters can only be good for the city compared to one left to rust and it seems strange Galliard would not want money coming in from the lease.
The company has every right to make sure it gets the best deal it can for the stadium – it is simple market forces – but the wider interest has to be considered too.
Hopefully the two parties can thrash out a deal and come to an arrangement that brings racing back to Oxford.
Otherwise we could be left with another two years of a disused stadium and an uncertain future.
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